DRM

Digital "Rights" Management, Digital Restrictions Management, Dishonest Relationship Misinformation

This is a generic acronym used to describe a system of software, often including technical measures, used by copyright holders who "claim" that this stops or reduces copyright infringement. DRM in fact does not affect those engaged in unlawful activities, and can only impose hidden digitally encoded contract terms on law abiding citizens.

Please see: Alphabet soup of acronyms: TPM, DRM, TCPA, RMS, RMI, Protecting property rights in a digital world.

Federal Bill C-32 tramples areas of provincial jurisdiction

2010-06-11: I sent a letter this afternoon to my Member of Provincial parliament for Ottawa South, who happens to be Premier Dalton McGuinty. I copied it to my federal MP, as well as to Andrea Horwath, Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats, and Tim Hudak, Leader of the Ontario PC Party.



Update 2010-07-29: I have sent an additional letter to Mr. McGuinty.

Thank you for your letter of July 27, 2010, in response to the letter I sent on June 11, 20101. I hope that you will reconsider the response, which was to say that it would be inappropriate for you to comment on a federal piece of legislation.

I forgot to include a link to the FAQ on why I disagree with what CMEC has been asking for.

Negative effects of the DMCA in the US

Interesting statistics from Copyright and Technology Blog :

[...] academic research into DRM and other rights technologies in the United States has diminished to virtually nil.

(For example, a search of IEEE shows that of all digital rights-related research papers published from 2008 to the present, 40% were from China, 27% were from the rest of Asia, 20% were from Europe, and less than 4% were from the United States. Spain by itself had more activity than the US.)

Logic and legal protection for TPMs

I was thinking about this last night after reading another "but we have to have the C-32 approach to TPMs for the creators to get paid" article, and think I found a way to explain my thinking.

Let's divide Canadians into 4 groups based on their ability to bypass TPMs and their respect for copyright law :

Can bypass TPMs Can't bypass TPMs
Respect Copyright law Engineers Comsumers
Don't respect copyright law Pirates Wannabe pirates

Electronic anklet trial a 'disaster'

A CBC News article documents yet another failed attempt to misapply technology to solve unrelated legal issue. I only wish this government would do evidence based policy, and look at when specific technologies have failed to solve legal problems elsewhere (IE: access controls in copyright in the USA has been a failure, and yet a far worse version is in Bill C-32). In the case of DMCA TPMs it wasn't a small sample, but a failed experiment committed against the entire country.

My participation in the Digital Economy Consultation

The deadline for ideas and submissions on Canada’s digital economy strategy has been extended until midnight, Tuesday, July 13

I don't think I will have the time to make a formal submission. I have instead started to post to the ideas forum. If you agree with these ideas, please vote them up. Please also add comments.

Moore has his facts wrong on Copyright

Author, broadcaster, editor, journalist, musician, negotiator, singer, and MP Charlie Angus has released a letter to Heritage Minister James Moore discussing how the Minister has his facts wrong on Copyright.

It is great that we have an actual creator in parliament, able to speak on behalf of fellow creators, rather than too many parliamentarians that get confused by intermediaries falsely claiming to represent creators!

My impressions of the DyscultureD Canadian audio blog

I am a big fan of audio blogs. Some people call them Podcasts because Apple iPod users seem to claim responsibility for making them popular. Leo Laporte over at TWIT.tv, a large audio/video blogging network with a long history in broadcasting, tried to convince people to call them Netcasts as they were simply broadcasting over the Internet. While I'm a listener to a few TWIT.tv shows, and a few other non-Canadian shows, I have always been looking for Canadian shows that cover some of the technology and political stories from the uniquely Canadian perspective.

If lawyers are confusing copyright with other laws, what about the rest of us?

A tweet from lawyer Barry Sookman (who has also blocked me, BTW), referenced an article with Further Copyright talk. At the end the author, Todd, said:

So is circumventing a TPM (even for legal purposes) like going into a theatre without paying or taking a book from a bookstore without paying? Or is it like being able to photocopy the relevant sections of a book in a library? To me it seems more like the former than the later.

Differentiating allies and opponents in the Copyright debate

Copyright is often claimed to be a balance between rights-holders’ interests on the one hand and the interests of users and society as a whole on the other hand. I only wish things were that simple. I could take my place alongside other rights-holders, and know that copyright law would at least be taking the interests of creators into serious consideration.

The problem is that the reality is quite different. With digital copyright you have potentially 4 rights-holder groups. Even if you only consider the interests of copyright holders, the vast majority of the debates I have witnessed have been between and within copyright holder groups, not between copyright holders and some other individual or group.

Just as with previous bills, the tabling of Bill C-32 will bring new people to the debate. Reading how I evaluate my allies and opponents may be useful as a kick-start for those people.

Read full article on IT World Canada's blog

A real-world e-book conversation, TPM included

Author John Degen has posted some fictional conversations between a writer and a reader on his blog (June 9, June 10). I say it is fictional as it ignores how the relevant technology works, and thus not only the lack of clarity of the relationships between writers and readers but also the fact that there is a technology company as intermediary that separates there from being much of a relationship at all between writers and readers. It depicts some rare moment where all the parties involved have the same understanding of the relationship, likely because this is really just a case of John having a conversation with himself.

This conversation is a good example to use to better understand the technology involved, the relationships, and what is the correct law to govern these types of relationships. It is also a demonstration why the existing anti-circumvention provisions within Bill C-32 require major revision in order to not cause massive unintended consequences that will be harmful to the interests of both the writers and readers John was intending to be writing about.

Read full article on IT world Canada's blog...

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